deadbeat

[n. ded-beet; adj. ded-beet]
noun
1.
a person who deliberately avoids paying debts.
2.
a loafer; sponger.
adjective
3.
being a parent who neglects parental responsibilities, especially one who does not pay child support: deadbeat dads.
4.
Horology. noting any of various escapements acting without recoil of the locking parts from the shock of contact. See diag. under escapement.
5.
Electricity. (of the indicator of an electric meter and the like) coming to a stop with little or no oscillation.

Origin:
1760–70; dead + beat

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
deadbeat (ˈdɛdˌbiːt)
 
n
1.  informal a lazy or socially undesirable person
2.  chiefly (US)
 a.  a person who makes a habit of avoiding or evading his or her responsibilities or debts
 b.  (as modifier): a deadbeat dad
3.  a high grade escapement used in pendulum clocks
4.  (modifier) (of a clock escapement) having a beat without any recoil
5.  (modifier) physics
 a.  (of a system) returning to an equilibrium position with little or no oscillation
 b.  (of an instrument or indicator) indicating a true reading without oscillation

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

deadbeat
"worthless sponging idler," 1877, Amer.Eng. slang, from dead + beat; earlier used colloquially to mean "completely beaten" (1821).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

deadbeat definition


  1. n.
    someone who doesn't pay debts or bills. : Some deadbeat with the same name as mine is ruining my credit rating.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Example sentences
Deadbeat dads breathe easy, its only science at work.
For every deadbeat borrower, there is an equal and opposite imprudent and usurious creditor.
Gwen's story starts with a deadbeat dad who walks out on the family, leaving her single mom struggling to get by.
Old boyfriends called her rage prone, co-workers called her snotty, landlords called her a deadbeat.
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